The Vancouver Police Department’s non-emergency phone line has been targeted by scammers who represent themselves as members of the Canada Revenue Agency.
Vancouver-area residents have been receiving calls that appear to be from the VPD’s non-emergency phone number, but are in fact from con artists who demand money for unpaid taxes.
The phone number 604-717-3321 is only for reporting non-emergency police situations and would never be used to solicit for an organization or individual, police said in a release.
The VPD advise the public that the CRA never requests prepaid credit cards, passport, health card, or driver’s licence information, and would not share taxpayer information with another person unless authorized. The CRA would also never leave personal information on answering machines or request that taxpayers do the same.
The VPD provided the following list of questions to help avoid these scammers:
- Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have an outstanding tax balance?
- Is the caller asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
- Is the caller asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?
- How did the caller get my email address or phone number?
- Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
A CRA email scam that appeared to be a tax refund in the form of an Interac transfer was also making the rounds in January.
For scam information or to report deceptive telemarketing, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or call toll free at 1-888-495-8501.
If you think you may be the victim of fraud or have shared personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the police.